Loncor holds 100% of the Makapela project, which is a 5-kilometre radius, circular parcel of land within the western part of the Archean Ngayu Greenstone Belt surrounding and including the Makapela deposit. It does not form part of the joint venture with Barrick although Barrick has certain pre-emptive rights over the Makapela deposit.
Figure 1: Location of Makapela Project Area in the Ngayu Belt
After undertaking soil and channel sampling, Loncor commenced a core drilling program at Makapela in November 2010 with the objective of testing along strike and at depth the sub-vertical, vein mineralized system being exploited by the artisanal miners at the Main, North and Sele Sele pits which returned significant results from soil and channel sampling. Drill results at Makapela were announced by the Company via a number of press releases in 2011 and 2012. Significant drill intersections included 7.19 metres grading 64 g/t Au, 4.28 metres @ 32.6 g/t Au, 3.47 metres grading 24.9 g/t Au, 4.09 metres @ 21.7 g/t Au and 4.35 metres grading 17.5 g/t Au.
After conducting preliminary metallurgical test work, in May 2012, the Company announced a maiden mineral resource estimate for the Makapela deposit, of 4.10 million tonnes grading 7.59 g/t Au (using a 2.75 g/t Au cut-off) for an inferred mineral resource of 1.0 million ounces of gold to a maximum vertical depth 500 metres below surface with gold mineralization open at depth. The resource was updated in April 2013 when the Company announced updated mineral resource estimates for the Makapela deposit, of an indicated mineral resource of 0.61 million ounces of gold (2.20 million tonnes grading at 8.66 g/t Au) and an inferred mineral resource of 0.55 million ounces of gold (3.22 million tonnes grading at 5.30 g/t Au). For further detail on Makapela’s resources please refer to the “Resources” website page.
In terms of material type, approximately 9% of the total mineral resources are in oxides, 6% in transitional and 85% in fresh rock.
These mineral resource estimates were prepared by independent consultants Venmyn Deloitte.
EXPLORATION & GEOLOGY AT MAKAPELA
Belgian workers carried out alluvial mining in streams draining from the Makapela area during the colonial era, but no production figures are available. Primary mineralization was discovered by artisanal miners in 2006, and within four years mining was taking place in three pits to a maximum depth of about 20 metres. The pits are between 170 metres and 190 metres in length and are located along a strike of 2.2 kilometres.
Exploration by Loncor at Makapela commenced in May 2010, with a 7 x 2-kilometre soil sampling grid covering the area of artisanal activity and extending south-westwards over stream sediment anomalies depicted on old maps from the colonial era. This was followed by channel sampling and then a targetted drilling campaign to delineate a resource. (see Figure 2 )
Figure 2: Makapela – Soil Geochemistry, Channel Sampling and Initial Drilling
A total of 56 core holes (18,091 metres) were completed in the vicinity of the Main and North pits and 15 holes (3,594 metres) were drilled at Sele Sele. In addition to the above resource drilling program, a total of 12 holes (1,560 metres) were drilled to locate potential extensions to the known reefs and new mineralized structures indicated by soil, rock chip and auger sampling.
Several units of Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) are interlayered within basalts, and range up to 13 metres in thickness, although the width is generally less than 6 meters. Quartz porphyry and quartz-feldspar porphyry dykes and sills are also present. In the vicinity of the mineralized zones, these intrusives are generally no more than a few metres in width.
Three styles of gold mineralization are present at Makapela:
- Quartz veins emplaced into shear zones within the basalt sequence. The best developed and economically significant vein (Reef 1) is exploited in the Main pit and consists of white quartz with irregularly distributed pyrite. Visible gold is quite common, occurring in 28% of the intersections as isolated specks and small aggregates up to 2 mm across. Reef 1 has been intersected over a strike length of 480 metres and to a vertical depth of 480 metres, and dips to the WNW at 80 - 90°. It has an average true width and grade of 2.15 metres @ 11.15 g/t Au. A characteristic of Reef 1 is the good geological continuity between drill sections; although the width and grade is variable, the vein was present in almost all holes, in approximately the expected position. The basalt hosting Reef 1 shows intense hydrothermal alteration for several metres into the hangingwall and footwall.
- A second style contains strike-parallel mineralization up to 6 metres in width is closely associated with shearing within and on the margins of narrow BIF units. The most important zone (Reef 2) is exploited in the North pit. Visible gold is much less common than in Reef 1 occurring in 5% of intersections.
Reef 2 has been intersected on the North pit trend over a strike length of 800 metres, the most significant grades occurring in the northern section over a potential strike length of 480 metres. In this northern area, which has been drilled to a maximum vertical depth of 418 metres, the mineralization has an average true width of 3.52 metres with an average grade of 8.44 g/t Au. As with Reef 1, Reef 2 shows excellent geological continuity, the altered BIF horizon being intersected in all holes in the expected position. The better-developed part of Reef 2 occurs at relatively shallow depths with a plunge of about 10 ° to the NNE, before assuming a very steep plunge to the SSW.
Mineralization in the Sele Sele pit, 2 kilometres NNE of the North pit, has similar characteristics to Reef 2, and is interpreted to be on the same BIF unit. However, the Sele Sele zone is generally wider and lower grade than in the North pit area, the best intersection drilled being 15.68 metres @ 5.35 g/t Au. The mineralization plunges to the SSE at about 40°.
- A third area of Reef 2 style mineralization occurs in the Bamako area where channel sampling returned an intersection of 4.60 metres @ 11.42 g/t Au. The mineralization is associated with a 2-kilometre long soil anomaly, and although the best intersection from preliminary drilling was of relatively low grade (3.60 metres @ 4.43 g/t Au) further work is warranted.
The deposit at Makapela is open down plunge creating the prospect of drilling to below the current 500-metre depth to extend the resources as well as potentially exploring for additional resources between the main target areas delineated and further along the regional structure. It is also considered unlikely that all the mineralized bodies are outcropping and good potential exists for locating blind mineralized shoots along well-defined structures with an aggregate strike of over 5 kilometres. Geophysical Induced Potential (I.P.) surveys would be applicable in locating any blind mineralization along this strike.
Peter N. Cowley, who is President of Loncor and a “qualified person” as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the above technical information.
Certain additional information with respect to the Company’s Makapela project is contained in the technical report of Venmyn Rand (Pty) Ltd dated May 29, 2012 and entitled “Updated National Instrument 43-101 Independent Technical Report on the Ngayu Gold Project, Orientale Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo”. A copy of the said report can be obtained from SEDAR at www.sedar.com and EDGAR at www.sec.gov.